The X-Calvinist Corner is a page on this website that shares the stories of people who were once Calvinist but have left Calvinism for a more Arminian theology. This series (The X-Calvinist Corner Files) highlights one of the testimonies from the X-Calvinist Corner in each installment.
Today’s testimony is from a man named Michael:
I grew up with an Arminian background, although I didn’t know it was called that at the time. I was this way all the way until midway through college. I wasn’t even aware there was any other view until then. I had college friends challenge me with this new concept of Calvinism and eventually I was convinced due to my lack of biblical expertise and ability to properly exegete at the time regarding this area. Even when I was “convinced”, it was still extremely hard for me to accept this because there were still so many loopholes remaining. I had such high respect for my extremely intelligent Godly friends who were Calvinists that I just figured they knew more what they were talking about than I did at the time.
I continued this way after college for the next 5 or 6 years, until the Holy Spirit brought me back to some key issues I’d been overlooking. For one thing, my passion for the lost had been nonchalant as I felt at the time that if someone was God’s Elect, there’s no reason why I needed to be concerned for the salvation of others, nor should I worry too much about my personal witness, after all I was Elect, and the deal was done. I felt more self-centered than I had ever felt and my purpose in life felt extremely vague.
I also began to re-question why would God predestine someone to eternal damnation before they were born. This never made sense to me. Calvinists try to use Romans 9 to back this up, but now I understand they take that far out of context. Predestining people to eternal damnation does not fit with what we know of God’s heart for all people based on the Bible. The Bible says that God desires for ALL men to be saved. Why would God predestine people to Hell, if He desires all men to be saved?
Calvinists like to take the few passages of Scripture referring to God hardening someone’s heart, or certain translations saying God created evil, and run with those verses. A deeper look at the meaning, original language of Scripture, and overall context of Scripture of these verses will show that the Calvinists are deeply in error. Scripture says that people are saved by faith in Jesus accompanied with actions. However some Calvinists will go so far as to quickly point out that faith is an action, and that we cannot be saved by our actions. They fail to see that Ephesians 2:8-9 says that it is by “grace” through faith we are saved. in other words, because of our faith, God gave us the gift of grace resulting in salvation. His grace is dependent on our faith. The Calvinist will argue who gave you faith then? To which my response is that God gave us the ability to develop our own faith. The Father draws us to Him, but we have the ability to accept or reject. The Calvinist says that no one can resist the Father drawing men to Him. My response is for them to take a look at the parable of the sower. Some accepted but later turned away. It makes a Calvinist feel better thinking they cannot do anything to lose their salvation because they don’t really have to have any responsibility.
The Scriptures tell us that as believers, we are continually being sanctified, and also tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Jesus also tells us many times to keep watch and be on our guard. He also warns the churches in the book of Revelation, one of which was warned they were going to be spit out of his mouth because the their lukewarmness. I could probably go on, but that’s a little take on my story.